If This Palapa Could Talk

“If These Walls Could Talk” is a blog series we’re excited to share with you. Across the Back2Back sites, there are structures – palapas, front porches, swing sets, tap-taps, surf boards – where you may have gathered on a trip with us. 

We gather to connect with each other, with vulnerable children, with hard working parents and staff, all in the name of offering love and seeking healing. We’ll explore the many victories and relationships born and fostered beneath, on, or near these places and spaces we all associate with each site. Enjoy!

I protect those who sit beneath me. The sun here is a hot, ever present force. Those who need shade or a small break to breathe, will find their rest in me.

There have been nights of worship under my covering. Hands raised high, strong and without shame, as lyrics sung in Spanish and English pour into the open space around me. They make their way to a God who knew just how necessary my thatched roof would be.

Visiting guests have gathered white, plastic chairs to the center of the concrete floor I house. They circle up for times of reflection and conversation.  

If these walls could talk . . .

I have been home to confession, to admittance, to laughter, to sorrow. I’ve been a secret keeper to the joys of sponsors hours after they realize they’ve been called to mentor a particular boy or girl. I have been present when a young woman realized why she was called to Mexico for a week-long trip. I have watched past hurts unfold and find the beginning of healing during nights of debriefing.

The pictures of the days over the course of 23 years have often been held safely in the weave of my roof . The pure delight I can recount is immeasurable and just as impactful in 2020 as it was in 1997.

I have seen friendships blossom, have witnessed soccer matches lead to victories, and I have heard the echo of bells ringing in the air as another student graduates high school or college, taking steps to end generational poverty.

If these walls could talk . . .

I have shielded moms from the sun as they  learn the power of their creative skills. I have housed mission guests purchasing handmade goods in Strong Mom’s Markets. I have celebrated quinceañeras for lovely girls growing into strong, capable young women. I have been a student alongside mothers, fathers, and their children as they experience their rightful place as sons and daughters of the King.

You might say I hold space for all celebration – a shelter in which every step toward victory is observed. And I will continue to do so – offer shade and rest, provide a roof for worship and connection, be present for the milestones and jubilation.

Maybe we’ve already met, you as a guest with your teammates in this sacred space. Maybe we’ve never crossed paths, but will in the weeks to come. It is here you gather, to meet God, to begin healing, and then you move forward, hopefully meeting God in new places under new shelter. I hope you take what you learned here – about yourself, others, and God, and share it with those you love. These are the moments I collect, and share now, as if these walls could talk…

Interested in joining us under a palapa?

If this has peaked your interest, we invite you to join us this year on a mission trip

We have open mission teams traveling this summer to Mazatlán, Mexico, June 20-26 and in the fall to Cancún, Mexico, September 18-24. To learn more and sign up, email Lana at ldiesel@back2back.org.